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Monday, July 14, 2008

TransCanada drawbacks are mind-boggling
During "King Murkowski's Reign," I publicly criticized him severely in the media for his proposed pseudo-contract with the oil/gas producers for a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to the lower 48 states.

Conservation of energy is patriotic
Reflecting on our 232 years of working together to find "a more perfect union," it became evident to me that the highest indicator of patriotism for regular citizens is not the giving of one's life in a battle-theater, especially a theater the stage of which has been propped by autocratic politicians. It is the competent conservation of "energy" (which is, per Einstein, not just oil!) to solidify the foundation of our future republic.

Don't let towers uglify Juneau
Recently we've read in the paper about the three communication towers proposed to be built in Mendenhall Valley. One 80-foot tower has been approved for Channel Drive; another 150-foot tower is proposed for the Loop Road near Mendenhall Boulevard; and a third 180-foot tower is proposed at the Montana Creek Road fork that goes to the Mendenhall campground, Skaters Cabin and the West Glacier Trail.

Charges raise questions for Senate group
A much-touted bipartisan coalition of lawmakers got two black eyes last week when a federal indictment accused Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage, of conspiring to bribe another member, Sen. Donny Olson, D-Nome.

Washington's first drug trial begins today
Jury selection in Aaron Washington's trial for alleged cocaine distribution is expected to begin this morning in Juneau Superior Court.

Around Town
Today

Correction
A letter to the editor by Larry Cotter in Thursday's Empire had a typo that changed its meaning. A sentence should have read: "We are now engaged in industrywide negotiations to develop and implement a comprehensive salmon bycatch reduction program that will either substantially reduce salmon bycatch or close our fishery down."

New book highlights Tlingit women
The Alaska Native Sisterhood has accomplished a great deal over the years in education, civil rights and public service that many people are unaware of, ANS Executive Committee member Doloresa Cadiente said.

Stevens, Begich joust over energy
U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, says oil speculators are to blame for prices above $100 a barrel.

Rep. Kerttula rebuffed in quest for early vote
House Republican leaders are backing off plans to have an early vote on TransCanada Corp.'s natural gas pipeline plans, pushing a final vote on the state license for the project even closer to the Aug. 2 deadline.

Photo: Little fisherman, big fisherman
D.J. Scott, 6, aims to catch small fish in a tide pool as his father, Ryan, has his sights on bigger fish Sunday at Point Louisa.

Forest Service is sued to stop timber sales
KETCHIKAN - Environmental groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service, seeking to stop four Tongass National Forest timber sales on grounds of potential harm to deer populations.

Photo: Catching air
Henry Melville jumps out of the water while wakeboarding Sunday on Auke Lake.

Hull cracks on cruise ship that ran aground
A cruise ship that was grounded in Glacier Bay on Monday cracked its hull Thursday night and began taking on water.

Around Town
Today

Photo: Tougher in Juneau

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Photo: New waiting zone at airport
The Juneau International Airport has opened a new free parking lot for people waiting to pick up passengers. The lot is on Simmons Drive next to Alaska Industrial Wardware.

Former Empire publisher retires from journalism
ATHENS, Ga. - Jeff Wilson, a former advertising director and then publisher of the Juneau Empire from 1975 to 1995 and now publisher of the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, is retiring and will be leaving that post sometime near the end of this year, he announced last week.

'Shortcut' leads to ravine rescue
Returning from a day hike Thursday, Gil Burnet, 23, decided to take a shortcut down Auke Mountain and found himself trapped in a steep ravine near dark and calling for help.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Pauline K. Ingledue
Longtime Juneau resident Pauline K. Ingledue died July 9, 2008, in Bend, Ore. She recently celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends.

My turn: Better living through $8 gas
I love $4 gas. It makes me appreciate freedom. I watch as the dollars spin and think, "You, Triceratops, did not get squished by an asteroid in vain. You got squished for a $60 drive to Vegas."

My Turn: Red-state socialists?
Are Alaskans red-necked, red-state socialists? I don't think so, but it is easy to see how outsiders could get that impression.

My turn: When money is speech, speech isn't free
The Exxon verdict understandably overshadowed the U.S. Supreme Court's other end-of-term rulings among Alaskans, but one - Federal Election Commission v. Davis - deserves our attention, for it may influence our elections for decades to come.

Alaska editorial: Juneau needs road to remain state capital
As you watch the political and environmental fracas over whether a road ever will be built linking Juneau to the rest of the world, you have to wonder why Juneau believes it can have it both ways.

Alaska editorial: Anchorage doesn't understand energy problems across state
It's an unorthodox approach and one that will not immediately win plaudits from Southcentral Alaska, but Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker has a good point about the political response to Alaska's energy crisis.

Alaska editorial: State is already helping Alaskans with energy costs
Around the state, Alaskans are clamoring for relief from horrendous fuel price increases.

My Turn: Plow windfall into renewables
Everyone in Alaska knows that the current record prices for fossil fuels are a two-edged sword. They are fattening the state's treasury while shrinking Alaskans' pocketbooks and driving "energy refugees" from villages as fuel costs pass the point of endurance.

Toe Toon
Cartoon by local artist Toe.

The Lily's REVENGE
The chocolate lily is loath to give it up too easily. I find that charming, but then I have always been a fan of difficult food.

New visitor center opens at Denali
DENALI NATIONAL PARK - Thousands of visitors from all over the world will come this summer to the new Eielson Visitor Center, with a spectacular view of North America's highest mountain, deep inside Denali National Park and Preserve.

Glacier center home to diverse wildlife
On a recent showery day I took a short walk near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. It was altogether the wrong time of day for bird song, but I heard five species of warbler (orange-crowned, yellow, yellow-rumped (myrtle) warbler, American redstart, and northern waterthrush), dark-eyed junco, American robin, Lincoln sparrow, hermit thrush, and Swainson's thrush. I missed the Tennessee warbler that had been reported for this area.

Out & About
Today: Juneau Alpine Club Grandchild Peaks Hike, 8 a.m., end of Montana Creek Road. Call to confirm and for gear. All welcome. Details: Steve, 790-1900.

Hydro offered again as energy alternative
ANCHORAGE - An ambitious hydropower project at Chakachamna Lake was among about three dozen proposals in a competition for $5 million in seed money to kick-start alternative energy projects across Alaska.

Begich challenges Stevens to debates
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich challenged U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens to a series of debates, but the Stevens campaign said it's too soon to talk about it.

Coast Guard supports artifact recovery
HOMER - The Coast Guard cutter Hickory will support the recovery efforts today of 140-year-old historical artifacts from the USS Torrent.

New parking lot opens at airport
JUNEAU - Juneau International Airport offers a new cell phone parking lot next to Alaska Industrial Hardware on Simmons Drive.

Governor announces board appointments
JUNEAU - A Juneau resident was among those appointed to the state Board of Forestry last week.

Ex-official gets probation in Kodiak
KODIAK - A former manager of the Kodiak Launch Complex is on probation after he was accused of making a verbal threat, theft and other crimes at the complex in February.

Plane crash kills three near Cook Inlet
NIKISKI - A floatplane crashed, killing three people Saturday near Kustatan, a small community south of Tyonek, on the west side of Cook Inlet.

Firefighters put out Anchorage park blaze
ANCHORAGE - A state Division of Forestry helicopter crew helped put out a fire in Anchorage's Far North Bicentennial Park.

Sushi restaurant destroyed by fire
ANCHORAGE - A fire destroyed a popular sushi restaurant Saturday in Anchorage.

Lance Mackey up for ESPY award again
FAIRBANKS - The number two has been good to champion musher Lance Mackey.

Police catch man with stolen luggage
JUNEAU - Police nabbed a 28-year-old Juneau man trying to leave town Friday with two pieces of luggage stolen from a downtown hotel.

Sitka optometrist wins big award
SITKA - An optometrist at Sitka's Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital won a big award.

12 turn out for Tee Harbor bike race
Twelve Juneau riders turned out for the Valley Lumber Tee Harbor Long Road Race on Saturday.

Valley Lumber Tee Harbor Long Road Race 2008 Results
Sport Class - 20 mile race from Tee Harbor to Eagle Beach and back.

Minors division moves from Wrangell to Juneau
Alaska District 2 Little League Majors Division tournament, for 11- to 12-year-olds, will be held Tuesday to July 23, starting with round-robin games.

Photo: Little League preview

Celebrating with golf
Top: Lynne Gregg reacts as she watches her chip shot stop within inches of the first hole during a 50th Anniversary of Statehood Lady Golfer's Tournament on Thursday at the Juneau Golf Course. According to Gregg, the tournament, which had no winner, was just for fun, to help celebrate the 50th anniversary.

SPORTS IN JUNEAU
UPCOMING EVENTS

Alaska volcano erupts, spewing rock and ash on remote island
ANCHORAGE - A volcano erupted Saturday with little warning on a remote island in Alaska, sending residents of a nearby ranch fleeing from falling ash and volcanic rock.

This Day in History
• In 1786, The French explorer, LaPerouse, lost two boat crews in the entrance of Lituya Bay.

Governor fires state's top cop
ANCHORAGE - Walt Monegan, the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, has been fired.

State publishes restaurant inspection reports online
ANCHORAGE - The state has launched a Web site that allows diners to check up on their favorite restaurants with the latest health inspection reports.

Two-legged dog becomes symbol of trapping flap
PALMER - Andre the two-legged dog was rescued last winter when a woman noticed the animal trailing blood across a country road.

Fishing boat rescues 10 after volcano eruption
ANCHORAGE - A fishing vessel rescued 10 people after a volcano erupted, sending rocks and ash down on a cattle ranch on a remote island in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

This Day in History
In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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